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Modern Day "Knights" Help Needy Worldwide

Heroes come in all shapes, sizes and ages.

Ed Artis and Jim Laws prove that.

They've gone around the world eight or nine times, helping the poorest people in the most remote places on earth. Often, those places are hostile, and they put themselves in danger.

But Artis, 62, and Laws, 68, figure it sure beats playing golf to pass the time!

They've gone to war zones and storm zones, slept in palaces and potato cellars, met kings and spies, dealt with warlords and nuns, and faced it all with a unique sense of humor.

These two are not only adventurers, but amazing characters in their own right.

They are modern-day knights.

Harry Smith profiled them on The Early Show Tuesday.

Artis and Laws bring food, shelter, medicine and supplies to people who can't fend for themselves. They've been to Rwanda, Afghanistan and Bosnia. They've fed refugees of war, famine and natural disaster.

"We're a couple of old duffers," Artis says. "I mean, we're not buff, action hero kinda guys. We're shaped like pears. Can't hear, can't see. … But, on the day, we get the job done."

To the tune of more than $40 million worth of aid, begging, borrowing — even stealing and bribing when necessary — stumbling into minefields, rescuing nuns, and befriending the locals.

They've had things transported by the Italian army, and by rebel soldiers; they work with local warlords, and don't care about political fallout. All they care about is delivering the goods.

On one mission, Artis and Laws traveled for weeks, in cars and mules, and fought through jungles, just to take the rust off of a connecting cable to provide a village with power that had been off for several years. They also set up a hospital there.

Whenever they take any piece of technology to a village, whether it's a water pump, a solar oven or an X-ray machine, they don't leave until at least 10 people in the village can take it apart and put it back together again.

They've had more flat tires in a single journey than most people have in a lifetime.

Artis and Laws only do the missions they feel like doing, as long as they're "high adventure, as well as service to the community," says Laws.

They do it all through an organization they founded called Knightsbridge. They raise money like any charity but, says Smith, it's their ability to distribute large quantities of aid and medicine directly to the people at the end of the line that sets them apart.

All money donated to Knightsbridge goes directly to the mission. They have a laptop, satellite phones and no staff, so 100 percent of donated funds go to the cause.

For information on how you can help Artis and Laws on their next humanitarian mission, to Darfur, click here.

For information on the documentary "Beyond the Call," featuring Artis and Laws, click here.

Oh, and Artis really IS a knight. He and Laws met in 1993 in Moscos, where Artis became a Knight of Malta, a humanitarian order that dates back to the Crusades.

To see Smith's piece, and learn more about Artis and Laws, including how they got their start in the humanitarian arena and what they did before that, click here.